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Collection Marquardt

800 years table-culture

The forty years of passion filled and very informative collecting by Dr. Klaus Marquardt brought forth one of the worlds most beautiful private collections of historical European eating utensils out of the last 800 years.

Since the year 2004, the Marquardt collection has found its new home in the “German Blade Museum”. The “German Blade Museums´” own collection of historical eating utensils is outstandingly complemented and enhanced by the Marquardt collection so that in Solingen the world wide largest collection of this kind now finds its home. The permanent exhibition contains valuable silverware and dinnerware displayed in a separate room. The main emphasis of the exhibit is: extremely rare knives out of the middle ages, silver spoons made in Germany-Scandinavia and eastern Europe during the baroque period, eating utensils made of ivory, and eating utensils used while traveling.

The Marquardt collection gives its visitors a remarkable and complete overview of the development of middle European silverware, from the time period of the late middle ages through the period of art nouveau.  All of the stages of the functional - formal as well as the stylistic development are represented and make the history of “our” dining culture; with help of the original pieces, vivid and understandable.

The silverware in the collection displayed is composed not only of  functional utensils used in the consumption of food. That was not their primary purpose of creation; more so they served thru the picturesque representations, moral and religious proverbs (thru the engraving of names, heraldic coat of arms, date, and the special occasion of the  donation of the special piece of silverware) as a medium of expressing the message and view of the upper class of the society in the corresponding time periods. The spectrum of topics that can be found on silverware is wide ranged: christian views, scholarliness, the appreciation of art, eroticism, the depiction of personal wealth, line of  heritage, social rank, godparent or parental pride.

Next to steel and precious metals the craftsmen combined their skill with fantasy (using all imaginable materials) to produce the handles as well as the entire piece of silverware out of: wood, antler, ivory, mother of pearl, tortoise shell, porcelain, gold, brass, enamel, clear crystal quartz, agate and other semi-precious stones. These materials obtained their enhanced value thru the perfect workmanship especially found in the precise carving skill used (in the wood, ivory, and amber...) showing off the captivating craftsmanship down into the smallest detail.